Clay Leonard

Some of my favorite childhood memories were formed around the dinner table with family and friends, eating and engaging in conversation. My work continues this dwindling tradition, and serves as a reminder of the importance of these experiences. Through my ceramic vessels, I investigate the important ritual of sharing a meal. This work is my contribution to reintroducing the lost art of communication around the dinner table.

Although I draw formal inspiration from mass-produced objects, I strive to reclaim the directness of human interaction with the material. I celebrate what my unique touch offers that is lost with a machine. Through subtle manipulation and gesture, I instill my work with personality, energy, and softness.

My ceramic vessels embody my interest in design, including the innovation of forms during production as well the aesthetic of display. The process of inventing and constructing these forms with my hands offers a reconnection to past traditions including the notion of honoring the humility of craftsman. In a fast paced culture where communications is overwhelmed by current technology, my work and research offers an incentive to rediscover personal conversation and get back to the table.